Archive for the ‘Daily Fix’ Category

Daily Fix, Aug 16

August 16, 2011

Race for the White House:

*Money, money,money – it’s all about the money. Governor Rick Perry’s fundraising “dash” sparks worries (Politico) while Michele Bachmann’s disclosures show farm subsidies she has repeatedly asserted she never received. LA Times Meanwhile, Obama continues his taxpayer-funded non-campaign bus tour of the midwest, telling his audience “You’ve got to send a message to Washington that it is time for the games to stop.” NY Times I think he even said it with a straight face.

*Stumping in New Hampshire: Governor Jon Huntsman spent the weekend campaigning in New Hampshire. He snagged Tim Pawlenty’s NH chair (WMUR Political Scoop), and attended at least 8 official campaign events as he continues to build buzz in that key New England state. Deseret News  In the meantime, Mary Kaye stumps in South Carolina with 3 of the couple’s daughters. CNN

*Mitt Romney continued to focus on Obama, calling his bus tour the “Magical Misery Tour.” NY Post He did take a minute to take a jab at Rick Perry’s lack of experience in the private sector. CNN He is also taking on organized labor, encouraging New Hampshire to move to a “Right-to-Work” state. (Interestingly, the GOP legislature in NH just passed such a law, but the Democratic guv vetoed it.) The Hill

*Meanwhile, Rick Perry is enjoying a very nice post-announcement bounce. It’s so big, in fact, that Rasmussen shows him up by 11 points over Mitt Romney. As the vetting begins in earnest, there are plenty of darts headed Perry’s way – he issued an executive order mandating a controversial vaccine, his immigration stance is unpopular in some circles (he favors in-state tuition for kids in Texas illegally for example), he’s a career politician and at least a dozen other items that need some ‘splainin’. One thing that doesn’t need much, though, is his record on jobs. A local blogger, Matthias Shapiro, perhaps best known for his 1000 Pennies videos, walks us through why Perry’s job numbers DO hold up.

Daily Fix, Aug 15

August 15, 2011

*Obama takes shots at Congress on his taxpayer-funded Midwest tour. “If they don’t start paying attention,” he told supporters, “then they’re not going to be in office and we will have a new Congress in there that will start paying attention to what is going on all across America.” Um…really? I thought we WERE paying attention *cough* November 2010 *cough* Oh, and 32 months into his presidency, he announced that he will be putting forth a plan to “boost the economy, create jobs and control the deficit…. The Hill

*And speaking of paying attention to Obama, his approval rating is now at an all-time low of 39%. Elections do indeed have consequences. So does failure to lead. USA Today

*Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted that the luxury bus tour to Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois had nothing to do with Michele Bachmann or the Iowa straw poll, or any GOPer at all. It also has nothing to do with campaigning, hence the taxpayer funding. Yeah, right, Mr. President. Next you’ll be selling us beach front property in states #51-#57. The Hill

*Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the Presidential race after a disappointing and distant 3rd place finish in Saturday’s straw poll. His campaign staffers were immediately snatched up by other campaigns. His New Hampshire state director, for example, got nabbed by the Huntsman campaign. Union Leader Aren’t those phone calls kinda awkward? I mean really….

Daily Fix, Aug 11

August 11, 2011

*Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love continues to make waves as she announces the formation of a Congressional Exploratory Committee. Jennifer Scott, former campaign manager for Jason Chaffetz, is advising Mayor Love. I expect her to be a formidable candidate. Daily Herald, Fox 13, DNews

*Senator Hatch said a few months ago that “governments have promised too much money in lifetime pensions” saying “…these governments are living in the past, playing irresponsibly with taxpayer money, and leaving taxpayers to foot the bill for too many lifetime pension promises.” According to NTU (the National Taxpayer’s Union) his pension currently stands at $125K per year, not including health care bennies – or Social Security payments. If he wins re-election and Republicans control the Senate next year, Hatch is in line to become the chair of the Senate Finance committee. chairman. The Senate Finance Committee oversees public employee pension plans. ABC4 The Utah Democratic chair questions why Hatch’s pension is more than 6 figures. ABC4

*Last night, Congressman Chaffetz held a townhall in American Fork. A lot of the meeting was focused on his potential rival, Senator Orrin Hatch. From the Trib: “They blew it,” he said of leaders during the Republican-dominated years between 2000 and 2006. Chaffetz then lowered the boom on Hatch. “You don’t have to have 36 years of seniority to get things done in Washington,” Chaffetz said. “Seniority doesn’t matter if you don’t vote right.” He held a similar meeting tonight in Ogden, with a similar response.

*The Pentagon respected the wishes of the families of the soldiers who died in the recent helicopter crash and would not allow the media to photograph the remains as they arrived at Dover AFB. Never fear – a White House photographer took pics anyway. AP

*And finally, if you did not watch the GOP debate tonight, you missed out on some good political theater. WaPo

Daily Fix, Aug 9

August 9, 2011

*Biggest news of the day – the Wisconsin recall elections trying to flip the Senate back to Dem control were not successful. Four of the 6 challenged Senators retained their seats and Republicans retain control of the Senate. Unions spent eye-popping amounts of money on the elections, but were unsuccessful. Wisconsin voters know they have to get spending under control and today’s elections show they understand “reality is not negotiable.” NYTimes, The Guardian, MSNBC, Politico and just to show I read “the other side” too, HuffPo

*Back in DC, yet another article on the low lows Congress has sunk to – at least as far as approval ratings go. “Among registered voters, the numbers were even worse. Just 21 percent said Member of Congress deserved re-election while 70 — yes, 70 — percent said they didn’t. Those numbers suggest that 2012 — at least as of today — may be the rarest of elections: a pox on both parties.” Could we have two “wave” election cycles in a row? WaPo’s “The Fix

*Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love announced the formation of a Congressional exploratory committee. She has not yet declared which seat she is running for, as redistricting is not yet completed. Daily Herald

*Obama’s campaign plan is to “kill” Mitt Romney. “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said an important Democratic political strategist.” At least they acknowledge the list of accomplishments to run on is mighty thin….They also plan to call him “weird”, largely because of his LDS (Mormon) beliefs. Des News

*Utah Policy’s Jordan Garn pens a tongue-in-cheek piece about Las Vegas oddmakers making their predictions that Jason Chaffetz gets in the US Senate race. He writes: “Handicappers have tapped “highly likely” as the frontrunner for the next pronouncement, laying 2-1 odds. Other possibilities include: “strongly leaning,” 3-1 odds; “happy where I’m at,” 7-2; “definitely equivocating,” 5-1 odds; “acutely interested,” 7-1; and “partly cloudy with a chance for rain,” 13-1 odds.” Seems inevitable, doesn’t it? Utah Policy

*Utah ranks #1 in volunteer hours and got a nice write up in USA Today. That’s awesome. However, I think we can do better. What do you think?

Daily Fix, Aug 8

August 8, 2011

*S&P downgraded our nation’s credit rating on Friday and the last 72 hours have been filled with polarized, partisan sniping. Why don’t we go straight to the source for the reasons for the downgrade? S&P ratings specialist John Chambers talks about those reasons.

*According to Politico, President Barack Obama “came out swinging against S&P on Monday — but Wall Street delivered an even harder 634-point punch in the gut over Washington’s handling of the debt and deficit crisis.” He announced he would unveil his own plan – but the White House had no time frame on when we should expect that plan.

*Governor Rick Perry is expected to announce his intentions to run for President of the United States at a RedState gathering this Saturday and from there, he heads to a New Hampshire event. He is expected to steal the thunder from the Iowa straw poll also happening on Saturday. Expect a big splash, then a whole lot of people looking a lot more closely at the governor from Texas.

*Closer to home, Congressman Jason Chaffetz began a week of town halls around the state. First on the schedule? Castle Dale, Utah, where the town hall turned into a tea party rally. Trib

*Meanwhile, potential rival Senator Orrin Hatch welcomed people to his new campaign offices in Murray – but couldn’t quite find the time to talk to the DREAM Act supporters who wanted to thank him in person. Hatch says he remains supportive of the DREAM Act, but acknowledges other things have to happen before it could be passed. Trib

*Riots are consuming London for the 3rd night in a row.  Some see it not as a protest, but an opportunistic crime spree. Scary. Fox 13

Daily Fix, Aug 2

August 2, 2011

*Last week, Representative Julie Fisher resigned to become the state director of the Department of Community and Culture. There will be a special election to fill the vacancy on August 25th. To date, there are 6 people in the race but the deadline to file is August 18th. Currently running are Carl Downing, Peter Cannon, Stewart Barlow, Don Milligan, Benton Bramwell and Neil Harris. D News

*President Obama nominated David Barlow, a Republican, to be the US attorney for Utah. He has been serving as Senator Mike Lee’s general counsel since January. Fox 13 Barlow’s appointment was met with howls from the Dems in Utah, wanting to know what back room deals were made. None, say the powers that be. Trib

*Mayor Mia Love just returned from a trip to Washington DC, where she met with a variety of people and organizations, including the NRCC, where she was very well received. She will not make a final determination until after redistricting is done. Trib

*Orrin Hatch snagged an endorsement from Sean Hannity today. Hannity said praised Hatch for fighting for Balanced Budgets and for his work in appointing conservatives to the Supreme Court. Washington Examiner

*Hatch is also taking heat for censuring unfavorable comments on his Facebook page. According to the SL Trib, Jen Howe joined that conversation to ask what he would “cut, cap and/or balance” in the federal budget. “Hatch responded that he would reveal specifics after the proposed balanced budget amendment passed. So Howe asked how he could ask his fellow co-workers to vote on something they didn’t know the specifics of, and told him she felt his constituents also needed access to this information. “For this, he defriended and removed me from his page, along with many others,” Howe says.” Hatch’s spokesman says they only remove “inappropriate, obscene or other offensive remarks on his page.” Trib

*Senator Mike Lee unveiled his new PAC – the Constitutional Conservatives Fund. His goal will be to “find and support candidates for federal office who share my view that federal government has become too big and too expensive.” He is open to supporting challengers to sitting Senators. The Hill

*Moody’s did NOT downgrade the US’ credit rating but did give it a negative outlook. I guess the world didn’t end after all. The Hill

*Central Falls, Rhode Island is broke. 18,000 people live there and are facing $80 million in unfunded liabilities to pay for the pensions of 141 people. Senator Dan Liljenquist blogs that “reality is not negotiable.”

*A Pleasant Grove man had a bad night when he crawled in bed with the wrong woman. In the wrong house. And started to get romantic. You gotta feel for him… Trib

*And finally, The Mayor of Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, has had enough. He’s sick of people parking where ever they feel like it and he decided to prove his point. Check it out.

Daily Fix, Aug 1

August 1, 2011

Oh, do we have a lot of political news to cover. The debt ceiling deal has been all over the news this weekend, so let’s start there.

*Speaker Boehner finally cobbled together enough votes to pass a bill through the House, then sent it to the Senate where it promptly died. Leader Reid passed a bill in the Senate and sent it to the House where it also promptly died. Then, they and other members of the leadership teams got together behind closed doors and came up with a new plan, presumably the one they expected to pass all along. In the end, Rep Jim Matheson was the only member of the Utah delegation to vote for the debt deal (after he voted FOR cut, cap and balance and AGAINST the Boehner plan). Follow all that? SL Trib, The Hill, Politico

*Stealing the show today, Rep Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House floor to cast her vote on the debt deal. She was greeted by a standing ovation. Welcome back, Gabby! Politico

*Meanwhile, back to the bill. The 74-page bill passed the House 269-161. Democrats were evenly split, with 95 voting for and 95 against. Republicans saw 174 members voting yes and 66 voting no, including Reps Bishop and Chaffetz. Once the bill hits the Senate, Senator Mike Lee is expected to vote no, as is Senators Rand Paul, Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio. Watch Rubio’s speech on the floor of the Senate a couple of days ago. Best line? “If there are things in that tax code that do not belong there because they are the process of good lobbying instead of good policy, then lets go after those things.” (Or in any other area of code.) YouTube

*On Friday, President Obama did the biggest GOP “Follow Friday” ever by listing each GOP Rep and Senator that is on Twitter. He lost 41,000 followers while the GOPers gained new ones. Heard on the Hill Stories about the Twitter swarm were carried across the blogosphere and one of them snagged a tweet from yours truly. Cool. Storyful

*VP Biden repeated a line from Rep Mike Doyle (D-PA) and called tea party Republicans “terrorists”. He later back-tracked. Politico Salon.com blasts Obama for “surrendering”, while Rocky Anderson says he is the worst negotiator to ever reside in the White House. The best line, however, was from Rep Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) who said the new deal was a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.” The Hill

*On the GOP side, opposition came from the staunchest tea party supporters. Senator Graham said “I cannot in good conscience support this deal. Simply stated, it locks us into more debt, bigger government and most devastating of all, a weakened defense infrastructure at a time when we face growing threats.” Senator Mike Lee told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he would filibuster the Senate vote and Congressman Chaffetz voted against the Boehner plan and the compromise bill, saying in part, “I voted no…on the latest plan, which cuts too little in FY 2012 and relies too heavily on promises of future cuts. I want a solution, not a deal. The formation of yet another commission to examine the debt crisis is an abdication by Congress of the responsibility to make tough decisions that address long-term problems.”

*The House has now completed its business and now stands adjourned until Sept 7th. Let the vacationing begin (or campaigning, as the case may be).

*Outside the debt battles, the FBI has a credible lead in the DB Cooper case (KSL) and oh, the GDP fell again and remains in the toilet. Hot Air

Daily Fix, July 29

July 29, 2011

*New Utah State Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis is threatening a lawsuit over redistricting if the new boundaries don’t turn out “fair.” (ABC4) Fair? Fair? Fair to who? Don’t they know that life isn’t fair, and neither is justice. As long as the numbers are equal, these types of lawsuits see little success. So, go ahead and bring the suit. I hear the Utah Republican Party General Counsel rocks.

*During an interview by Greta Van Susteren with Governor Jon Huntsman in front of the White House Huntsman was “swarmed” by fans — Chinese Americans and tourists. Watch the video. It’s alarmingly pacifying to think that we could have a President that has this sort of relationship with the Chinese people. They just love him.

*And speaking of Mitt Romney, Romney and Huntsman (or, their people) sparred on Twitter earlier today: MR: “Romney is a social media leader[.]“; JH: “Too bad he’s not willing to be a leader on debt ceiling debate.”; and then Tim Carney: “If you took Obama’s plan and Romney’s plan, and just met in the middle, you’d be in the middle of nowhere.” The gloves are coming off, people.

*Unsurprisingly, Warren Jeffs spent 55 minutes delivering a sermon on polygamy to jurors today. (Deseret News) That should help his case.

*I’m not going to report on the silly debt “talks” today – I am so over them. I would like you to note, though, that Wall Street has posted its worst week in a year. Good job boys. (Reuters) (Not to mention President Obama’s all-time low approval rating of 40%, here. Oops, I guess I did mention it.)

*I’ve taken 3 bar exams, and they were awful, and I’ve birthed 4 kids, and they (the birthings, not the kids) were awful, but I’m just glad this wasn’t me.

*And, finally, I’d like to thank Holly for her gracious generosity in letting me join in on your Daily Fix for the past few months. It’s been great. We should do it again sometime.

Daily Fix, July28

July 28, 2011

*In spite of pizza and lots of arm-twisting, House Republicans couldn’t garner the votes to pass the Boehner plan – which is DOA in the Senate. Utah’s Jason Chaffetz is in the group of 2 dozen or so GOP members that are no votes. Matheson is also a no. The Hill, SLTrib

*The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed that mentioned “tea-party Hobbits.” Senator John McCain referenced the article as he blasted recalcitrant Republicans. That prompted a “Lord of the Zings” comment from Senator Rand Paul, who said “I’d rather be a hobbit than a troll.” USA Today I wonder if McCain realized that the Hobbits were the good guys and the only ones able to resist the lure of the ring?

*Provo city councilman Steve Turley has been charged with 10 second-degree felonies. He has taken a leave of absence but is not resigning. The Daily Herald has a long article on the charges and Turley’s history of controversy.

*In news-that’s-not-news, Morgan Philpot is running for Congress. Didn’t he start running November 5th, 2010? He joins a crowded field for the 3rd and/or 4th Congressional district that is rumored to include Rep Chris Herrod, Rep Steve Sandstrom, Mayor Mia Love, Senator John Valentine, Mike Lee state director Dan Hauser and of course Carl Wimmer. D News

Stay tuned for more games coming out of DC.

Daily Fix, July 27

July 27, 2011

*Environmentalist Tim DeChristopher was sentenced yesterday to two years in prison for failing to make good on bids at a lease auction of Utah public lands. (SL Trib) District Court Judge Dee Benson noted that DeChristopher likely would not have been prosecuted or received jail time but for his “continuing trail of statements.” In protest, DeChristopher supporters chained themselves to the courthouse steps, blocked traffic and got themselves arrested in solidarity. It seems to me that DeChristopher got exactly what he wanted – for what is civil disobedience if there is no consequence? Where’s the statement if there is no penalty? Good job DeChristopher – you did it!

*First Lady Michelle Obama raised around $420,000 dollars for President Obama’s campaign at a Park City private fundraiser. (SL Trib) Mrs. Obama listed her husband’s accomplishments as: “turning “an economy that was on the brink of collapse to an economy that is starting to grow again, cutting taxes for middle-class families, extending a child-care tax credit, signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and passing health care reform.” Lilly who? He’s selling his record on the economy, taxes and health care? Am I missing something here?

*The Redistricting Committee has finished its road show but only one thing is certain — some communities, many communities, will be split. The numbers require it. (SL Trib) The committee has changed from favoring 4 pizza slice districts, which would cut Salt Lake County into 4 districts, to something other than that. After the generous public commenting period, legislators have changed course and will likely divide Salt Lake County three ways instead of 4, but the committee still doesn’t know how. Even though many will likely call gerrymander, which is actually a pretty easy, lazy, and intellectually-deficient charge to make, kudos to the committee for traveling 2000 miles in 9 weeks in order to hear what Utahns want. Now, the legislators that Utahns chose will make the final decision. This is what democracy, I mean compound constitutional republic, looks like.

*And speaking of redistricting, South Carolina has finished its map, and the Republican-led legislature has mapped out 6 “safe” districts out of 7. (The Hill) Like Utah, SC picked up a congressional seat this year because of its population growth. If only those Republicans would stop growing.

*The Wall Street Journal is tired of the Republicans that aren’t jumping on Boehner’s bandwagon. (WSJ) “The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue, and the public will turn en masse against . . . Barack Obama. The Republican House that failed to raise the debt ceiling would somehow escape all blame. Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea-party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth having defeated Mordor.” Hobbits. Nice. The paper continues, “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into GOP Senate nominees. The reality is that the debt limit will be raised one way or another, and the only issue now is with how much fiscal reform and what political fallout.” I just liked the Hobbit reference.

*Mitt Romney has dropped three names as possible VPs — Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (isn’t he beautiful?). (Political Wire) Also, I’m having a concert at my house next week and am inviting you all. I hope to have performing Elton John, Steve Tyler, and Lady Gaga.

*Now that our Pioneer celebrations have come and gone and nothing but hot temperatures on the horizon, what do we do now? Oh, those dog days of summer.


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